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A Study of Course Materials and Instruction Design of Chinese Proverbs to Intermediate and Advanced Chinese Language Learners
proverb teaching materials
The aim of this study is to design proverbs course materials for advanced Chinese learners and to conduct an experimental teaching practice with the consideration of both cultural and contextual aspects. When Chinese language learners reach an advanced level, they inevitably encounter proverbs. However, proverbs are not much emphasized in the Chinese language pedagogy which includes teaching materials, curriculum and research. The difficulty of learning proverbs lies in how to use them in a proper context and how to grasp their cultural meaning. As of yet, the current Chinese pedagogy neglects the importance of instruction and publication of proverb-focused textbooks. Thus, when Chinese language learners reach an advanced level, they are unable to use Chinese proverbs correctly. This in turn hinders further Chinese language development and the ability to communicate from a cross-cultural perspective. In this research, literature analysis and survey research provide a framework for data collection and compilation of proverbs course materials. This study reviews relevant literature, analyzes teacher and student needs regarding proverbs instruction, compiles course materials and applies these materials in advanced Chinese language class. Through the designed proverb course the researcher aims to achieve the following goals as below: 1. Addressing the insufficiency of proverbs-oriented teaching methodology and publications 2. Providing suggestions for compiling proverb teaching materials 3. Establishing teaching strategies of Chinese proverbs The results of this research reveal that the greatest difficulties in Chinese proverbs' acquisition are total comprehension, active recall and appropriate application. Author's analysis of students’ needs has shown that both teachers and learners acknowledge the necessity and value of proverbs acquisition as a way to enhance Chinese language proficiency. Both parties agree that the lack of relevant materials which calls for a greater investment in curriculum. After conducting a five-week experimental class instruction focused on proverbs, the results have shown a direct improvement in students’ ability to grasp and utilize proverbs. Additionally, it has proven that proverb acquisition reinforces other areas of Chinese language coursework. Thus, given this proverb coursework’s demonstrated feasibility, the researcher hopes that the provided course materials can serve as a model for future Chinese proverb curricula.
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